Determination of the effects of ZnO nanowires on the efficiency of ZnO nanowire-based dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is important. In this study, we determined the effects of different OH - precursors, concentrations, the ratio of zinc nitrate to hexamethylene tetramine (HMT), and the hydrothermal synthesis temperature on the physical, crystal, and optical properties of ZnO nanowires and investigated the performance of the resulting DSSCs. We observed that ZnO nanowires synthesized using an equimolar ratio of HMT to zinc nitrate yielded a DSSC with high incident photon-to-current efficiency (IPCE), cell efficiency, short circuit current density (J sc), and fill factor (FF), and low ZnO-dye-electrolyte interface resistance due to an increased amount of dye and a decreased density of defects. Furthermore, ZnO nanowires made using optimal concentrations and ratios of zinc nitrate to HMT had a high surface area and low defect density. All the photovoltaic performance parameters of DSSCs assessed such as IPCE, cell efficiency, J sc, open circuit potential (V oc), and FF increased with synthesis temperature, which was related to a decrease in the resistance at the ZnO-dye-electrolyte interface. We attributed these results to an increased amount of dye facilitated by a large nanowire surface area and fast electron transfer because of the improved crystalline structure of the ZnO nanowires and their low defect density. By optimizing the ZnO nanowires, we increased DSSC efficiency to 0.26% using ZnO nanowires synthesized with 25 mM of both zinc nitrate and HMT at 90°C, while only a 0.02% increase in efficiency was obtained when NH 4OH was used as OH - precursor.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the New & Renewable Energy Technology Development Program of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning ( 20113020010010 ) grant funded by the Korea government Ministry of Knowledge Economy . This work was also supported by the Priority Research Centers Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( 2009‐0093823 ).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry